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Law Enforcement Program Trainers

CALIFORNIA

CA LEP Region 1

Regional K-9 Trainer’s Bios Coming Soon.

CA LEP Region 2

Marty Mahon

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Regional K-9 Trainer

K-9 Trainer Marty Mahon

Marty Mahon

Marty is a police sergeant with the South San Francisco Police Department, located in the Bay Area. He has been a K-9 handler for over 9 years and is currently the head trainer of the K-9 unit, which consists of 5 dual-purpose K-9 teams. Marty and his K-9 have been assigned to the Drug Enforcement Administration, San Francisco Field Division, interdiction team for 3 years, and responsible for interdiction of drugs and drug money entering and leaving the Bay Area of California. Marty specializes in parcel and airport interdictions with numerous seizures of drug proceeds and drugs.

Marty is a K-9 evaluator for the Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST), and a judge and evaluator for the Western States Police Canine Association. Marty provides consultation to K-9 units & teams in the Bay Area in patrol and narcotics detection.

Mike Waller

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Regional K-9 Trainer

K-9 Trainer Mike Waller

Mike Waller

Mike has been a Deputy Sheriff with the Solano County Sheriff’s Office for over 14 years, with ten of those years as a K-9 handler. In 2001, Mike assisted in the implementation of Solano County Sheriff’s Office first canine unit. Mike has been training dogs for over 15 years. The last seven years Mike has been the Head Trainer for the Sheriff’s Office and the Benicia Police Department. In that time he has trained close to a hundred dogs for narcotic detection, explosives detection, jail contraband, and patrol certification for various agencies.

Currently Mike is working his second K-9, Richter. They are assigned to patrol and both are members of the SWAT team. Mike is a current member, judge, and evaluator for the Western States Police Canine Association. He is also a P.O.S.T. certified K-9 evaluator. Through his extensive training and experience he has been recognized in Superior Court as a subject matter expert in K-9 handling and training. Mike is also one of the founders and President of SLECT, Solano Law Enforcement K-9 Teams, a nonprofit association to honor and enhance the abilities of all law enforcement K-9 teams located within Solano County.

Loring Cox

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Assistant K-9 Trainer

K-9Trainer Loring Cox

Loring Cox

Loring has been a Police Officer for over 11 years. He began with the San Jose Police Department and then lateraled to Hayward Police Department. He was selected to the K-9 Unit and became a K-9 handler in 2007. The last two years Loring has been the Head Trainer for the K-9 Unit. In that time he has trained with various neighboring agencies with an emphasis on problem solving.

Currently Loring is working his second K-9, Nicky. They are assigned to Patrol and assist all Divisions of the Hayward Police Department to include: the Gang Unit, SWAT, and Narcotics Teams. Loring is a current member of the Western States Police Canine Association and is also a P.O.S.T. certified K-9 Team evaluator.

Chris Michaelis

Helper/Decoy

K-9 Trainer Chris Michaelis

Chris Michaelis

Chris has been an decoy and agitator for the South San Francisco Police Department for 13 years. He has attended numerous agitator classes and has been certified as a K-9 evaluator.

Chris enjoys working with police dogs and helping them train to become proficient at their jobs.

Mark Thompson

Decoy

K-9 Trainer Mark Thompson

Mark Thompson

Mark has been a peace officer for 13 year. He started with the California Department of Corrections as Correctional Officer at San Quentin. From there he went to the Solano County Sheriff’s Office where he was a K-9 Handler.

Mark currently works for the Vallejo Police Department assigned to patrol as a K-9 handler.

Rebecca Babney

Decoy

K-9 Trainer Rebecca Dabney

Rebecca Dabney

Rebecca was born and raised in the bay area of California. She became a police officer in South San Francisco in 2007. She is currently a K-9 Handler and Field Training Officer. She has been handling a Belgian Malinois since 2010. Rebecca has competed in a number of K-9 trials and has won awards for narcotics detection, “Best in Trial Cross-Trained”, and “Decoy’s Choice”.  She has also successfully trained dogs for narcotics detection work.

CA LEP Region 3

Brad Meyer

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Regional K-9 Trainer

K-9 Trainer Brad Meyer

Brad Meyer

Brad has over 10 years experience training law enforcement K-9s. He is currently  a K-9 handler with the Butte County Sheriff’s Office assigned to patrol with my third dog. Brad has handled a sole purpose narcotics detection K-9, duel purpose patrol/narcotics detection K-9, and he is currently handling a duel purpose patrol/explosive detection K-9. He was instrumental in establishing a K-9 unit for the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office and became the County’s first K-9 handler. He also helped write and establish the departments K-9 policy. Brad has selected and helped train K-9s for the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office.

He is a K-9 evaluator for Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST). He has been a SWAT team member and attended the FBI basic SWAT school. Brad has received hundreds of hours in basic and advanced K-9 training and has helped teach basic decoy and agitator classes.

CA LEP Region 4

Gregg Tawney

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Regional K-9 Trainer

K-9 Trainer Gregg Tawney

Gregg Tawney

Gregg has over 20 years of experience as a K-9 trainer. He has fourteen years of law enforcement experience and is currently a trainer and K-9 handler for the Elk Grove Police Department. Gregg has worked three dual purpose dogs trained in patrol and narcotics. Gregg has been a swat team member, swat team leader, and tactical commander. He has spent weeks training with the Dutch police and the KNPV. Gregg is responsible for breeding, selecting and training numerous police dogs. He is the Vice President for the WSPSA and serves as a judge for the Western States Police K-9 Association and the SDA, Service Dogs of America. Gregg is a POST certified K-9 evaluator. His canine experience and extensive education have made him recognized by POST as a subject matter expert.

Click here for more on Gregg Tawney.

Brian Schopf

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Regional K-9 Trainer

K-9 Trainer Brian Schopf

Brian Schopf

Brian has been a K-9 handler for over 14 years and served as a department trainer for 6 years.  He is currently a handler / trainer for the Elk Grove Police Department.Prior to Elk Grove, Brian served as a handler and the trainer for the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department.  He has worked 4 patrol dogs with 2 of them being cross trained for patrol/narcotics detection. He has served on the board for Western States Police Canine Association (WSPCA) for two terms.  He has decoyed, judged and competed in many police K-9 trials, winning several awards in the process.

Brian is a Peace Officers Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) certified evaluator and a WSPCA certified narcotics detection evaluator.  Brian has experience training patrol deployments, narcotics detection, tracking and articles/evidence.

Jesse Gutierrez

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Assistant K-9 Trainer

K-9 Trainer Jesse Gutierrez

K-9 Trainer Jesse Gutierrez

Jesse has been a police officer at a large central valley agency in California for 9 years.  He has been a K-9 handler for 5 years. Jesse and hisK-9 have several arrests and agency assists to their credit. Jesse assisted with developing tactical K9 training for his agencies SWAT team. He is a member of the W.S.P.C.A. and he has won several awards competing in the Police K9 trials.

Jesse has attended and completed several K-9 courses including S.K.I.D.D.S/C.A.T.S, Tactical Tracker Teams, and the International K-9 Conference.  Jesse has also completed several hours of instruction at the Police K-9 H.I.T.S, Law Dogs, and W.S.P.C.A Conferences.

Nathan Lybarger

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Assistant K-9 Trainer

K-9 Trainer Nathan Lybarger

Nathan Lybarger

Nathan has eight years experience in training working dogs for sport and police services. He is employed by a Sheriff’s Office in northern California where he handles a dual purpose K-9 and is assigned to their SWAT team as a tactical K-9 operator. Nathan has traveled to the Netherlands where he trained with Dutch Police K-9 teams and members of the KNPV.

Nathan has imported, selected, bred and trained dogs for police agencies throughout Central California. Nathan is a member of the Western States Police Canine Association (WSPCA), Service Dogs of America (SDA), National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA) and President of the Yuba County Deputy Sheriff’s K-9 Association. Nathan is a California POST certified K-9 evaluator.

Bryan Fritsch

Assistant K-9 Trainer

K-9 Trainer Bryan Fritsch

Bryan Fritsch

Bryan has 14 years law enforcement experience and is currently a Police Officer with the City of Citrus Heights. Bryan has worked two Police dogs and continues to train and handle dogs for police and sport work. Bryan supervised the K-9 unit at his former department and was instrumental in developing the departments canine policy. Bryan has been a SWAT team member and deployed with his K-9 on several SWAT missions. Bryan has competed and decoyed in several Western States Police Canine competitions as well as SKIDDS trials. Bryan is an experienced handler and decoy always searching for the most advanced training techniques.

CA LEP Region 5

John White

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Regional K-9 Trainer

K-9 Trainer John White

John White

John has worked for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office for over twelve years. He was selected as one of the first K-9 handlers when the agency established their eight-dog patrol dog program in 2005. John also trained civilian dogs prior to working a cross-trained patrol/narcotics dogs. John was a member if an Interdiction Unit working with many state and federal agencies. He also has an expertise of hidden compartments in vehicles and a court recognized expert in narcotics detection. John was responsible for seizing numerous narcotics and currency, totaling in the millions of dollars.

John is a K-9 evaluator for the Peace Officers Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.). He is a member of the Western States Police Canine Association (W.S.P.C.A.) and has won over fifty awards competing in K-9 trials throughout the western states. John was the top W.S.P.C.A. narcotics detection team for 2009 and 2010.

John also worked with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Special Response Unit on many deployments throughout the bay area. He also was instrumental in the development of tactical canine scenarios in Urban Shield. John has numerous street apprehensions and an expertise in police dog tracking/trailing. He also founded the Alameda County Sheriff K-9 Association.

Mike Popp

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Regional K-9 Trainer

K-9 Trainer Mike Popp

Mike Popp

Mike has over 16 years as a working dog trainer with experience in both service and sport dogs. Mike served with the Reedley Police Department for ten years as a K-9 handler and the department’s K-9 trainer. During this time Mike handled both patrol and a narcotics dog.

Upon retiring he handled an explosive detection dog for a private security contracting company.

CA LEP Region 6

Regional K-9 Trainer’s Bios Coming Soon.

James Murphy

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Corporate K-9 Trainer

K-9 Trainer James Murphy

James Murphy

James has over 24 years of experience with K9 training and handling. He has eighteen years of law enforcement experience. James’ last assignment was one of the trainers and handlers for a large municipal police department in California. James worked a dual purpose dog trained in patrol and narcotics. James was on the urban rifle team and attended numerous tactics and firearms courses.

James was responsible for a police service dog certified in the detection of controlled substances and patrol. James worked within a canine unit of 14 handlers, two sergeants and a lieutenant. During this assignment, James developed training, attended courses and spearheaded the attendance of training classes, seminars, and workshops by other team members. James created

the training program for his agencies canine unit with regard to in-service training and report writing procedures. James developed the current operation of parcel interdiction at a local area shipping company that has resulted in the seizure of significant amounts of controlled substances, Unites States Currency, and the arrest of a vast number of criminals. James has numerous deployments that resulted in finds of suspects and apprehensions. James had several finds after long tracks of violent armed felons.

James was instrumental in developing the current highway interdiction program and made several seizures of controlled substances, currency, firearms and pirated digital media. James was assigned to a special committee for the Western States Police Canine Association and helped develop the annual training conference currently held in Reno, Nevada.

James is a POST certified K-9 evaluator. James is responsible for selecting and training numerous police dogs and International working dogs. James has trained dogs in patrol, narcotics, explosives, tracking, and article searching. James has traveled throughout the United States conducting training for local and state law enforcement as well as international security firms.

Click here for more on James

Pat Kropholler

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Director of Interdiction Training

K-9 Trainer Pat Kropholler

Pat Kropholler

Pat Kropholler has been a sworn peace officer for twenty years. He is currently a Sergeant with a Northern California Sheriff’s Office, and serves on a multi-jurisdictional narcotics task-force.  He has been either the lead investigator and/or assisted in hundreds of cases involving contraband smuggling with domestic and/or international ties to significant DTO’s (Drug Trafficking Originations). These cases have resulted in the seizure of thousands of pounds of controlled substances and millions of dollars in drug currency.

During his years as an interdiction officer, Pat has developed tactics and techniques used to identify the contraband smuggler when they are most vulnerable; while in transit. He has testified in the state and federal court systems regarding major drug/currency smuggling cases and the role contraband detection K-9’s serve in these incidents. He was partnered with his cross trained K-9, Maximus for ten and a half years until Maximus’ retirement in 2013. Pat serves as his agencies K-9 Program Coordinator and supervises a team of six handlers cross trained for controlled substance detection and protection work.

Steve Holidy

Corporate Trainer/Decoy, Kennel Master

K-9 Trainer Steve Holidy

Steve Holidy

Steve began training dogs at a very young age. He has trained dogs for a variety of purposes from hunting hounds and bird dogs, to schutzhund dogs and now police K-9s. Steve has attended seminars across the U.S. and stays current on the most effective K-9 training methods. He has trained with top competitors from club level to world champions. He has had one on one training with Germany’s Director of Canine Training/Agitating. Steve works with a number of K-9 training clubs and associations as their expert in agitation training, and has helped design agitation scenarios for numerous K-9 trials. He also works with the Western States Police Canine Association and was Agitator of The Year in 2005. He was also an agitator for the Police and Fire Games in 2004 and 2005. Steve has raised and trained canines that are now at work for police agencies in California and in Florida. He has over twenty years of experience training and agitating canines. Steve now works for VCSi helping to train K-9s for law enforcement agencies in California.

COLORADO

Doug Church

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State Director

K-9 Trainer Doug Church

Doug Church

Doug has been with the Denver Police Department for 30 yrs. He has been with the Denver Police Department K-9 unit for 20 yrs. and have been the K-9 unit trainer for 16 yrs. His responsibilities have included assisting in the purchase and selection of dogs, and to train all new handlers coming into the unit. He also assists in the ongoing maintenance training of the departments K-9 unit. He is currently handling his fourth dog. Doug has worked two German Shepherds, a Dutch Shepherd and a Belgian Malinois in both patrol and narcotics detection. He has also trained an explosive detection dog for the unit.

He is currently the president of the Colorado Police Canine Association and was instrumental in establishing the association standards as acceptable to Colorado P.O.S.T. He has been involved in the training and certification of teams in the association which is currently over 100.

Doug has served on the Standards and Training Committee for the National Police Canine Association since 2002 and has instructed at several of the national seminars involving hundreds of K-9 teams from across the nation.

He is a trainer and certifying official for the National Police Canine Association, as well as a Judge and instructor with Utah P.O.S.T ,and a certifying official for the Colorado Police Canine Association.

Brian Laas

Regional K-9 Trainer

K-9 Trainer Brian Laas

Brian Laas

Brian has been in law enforcement since 1993. He has been with the Arvada Police Dept. since 1995.  He became a canine handler in 1998 with a dual purpose German Shepherd. Since that time he has handled three other German Shepherds trained in patrol, tracking, and narcotics detection. Additionally, his second dog was also trained as a cadaver dog. Brian is currently working his fifth dog, a Belgian Malinois trained in patrol, tracking, and narcotics detection. Brian has worked hard to understand the difficulties of tracking and the work it takes to achieve success in this area, particularly urban or hard surface tracking.

He is assigned to the Jefferson County Colorado Regional SWAT Team as a canine handler for the last 6 years. He has handled and trained three dogs for this position. Brian is also a firearms instructor for the Arvada Police Dept.

He is a trainer and certifying official for the National Police Canine Association and has taught at two national conferences for the NPCA. He has presented at numerous regional training events for the NPCA as well. Brian is the Vice Pres. of the Colorado Police Canine Association and has held this position for five years. He is also a certifying official for the Colorado Police Canine Association.

FLORIDA

Frank Ball

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State Director

K-9 Trainer Frank Ball

Frank Ball

Frank has 21 years for of experience in Law Enforcement. Frank started his law enforcement career with the Edgewater Police Department and continued with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office. He then worked for the Hannahville Tribal Police Department in Michigan.

Frank became a K-9 handler with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office in 1988. Frank was a successful handler which allowed him to have over 400 Criminal Apprehensions during his time as a handler. Frank was also instrumental in the confiscation of large amounts of currency and narcotics as a K-9 handler. Frank has experience as a trainer for the departments he worked for and was involved with the training for surrounding departments.

Frank also has experience working in the private K-9 sector and handled numerous Explosive Detection Teams and training numerous dogs for private companies around the world. Frank sold and trained the first Narcotic Detection Dogs for the State of Florida Corrections. Frank has trained hundreds of Explosive Detection and Narcotic Detection Dogs along with hundreds of Full Service K-9 teams over the years as a K-9 trainer. Frank is an expert in K-9 tracking techniques and has taught K-9 tracking courses for departments all over the US.

FL LEP Region 6

Richard Voss

Regional K-9 Trainer

K-9 Trainer Richard Voss

Richard Voss

Richard comes to VCSI with 21 years of experience K-9 training and K-9 handling. Richard started the K-9 unit with Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office. Rickard has been involved the Departments Interdiction Operations and has been involved in instructing Deputies on the Tactic’s used in the Interdiction program.

Rickard is a certified FDLE K-9 instructor. He also works with the Police Work Dog Association of Florida, National Narcotics Detector Dog Association, and the North American Police Work Dog Association.

MICHIGAN

John Skalski

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State Director

John retired from the Detroit Police Department after 31 years of service. He was a canine handler for 30 years handling a patrol K-9, narcotics K-9, an explosive detection K-9, and a human remains dog. John served as the K-9 trainer for the Detroit Police Department for 27 years.

From 1998-2001 John was the chief K-9 trainer for the Oakland Community College police academy K-9 training department. He is also a nationally certified trainer and judge for the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA). He was a former President of the USPCA for region and was also a member of the national board of directors for the USPCA. John also served as the Chairman of the USPCA Trainers Committee for 12 years.

John is recognized as an expert witness in both Federal court and municipal court in the area of police service dogs, as a trainer and handler.

Click here for more on John Skalski

MI LEP Region 1

Scott Sanderson

Regional K-9 Trainer

K-9 Trainer Scott Sanderson

Scott Sanderson

Scott Sanderson is a Public Safety Sergeant with the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety in Michigan, one of the largest Public Safety departments in the country.  Scott has been in law enforcement since February 1993 and has been a police dog handler since October 1998. In June 2002 Scott was promoted to the dog unit supervisor position and head trainer. Since October 1998 Scott has handled three police dogs which include one German Shepherd, one German Shepherd/Belgian Malinois mix and one Belgian Malinois. Since taking over the head trainer responsibilities Scott has trained and certified 17 police dogs for his department. These dogs were all dual purpose police dogs trained and certified in narcotics detection, tracking, aggression control, building searches, obedience, article searches and area searches.

Scott’s has experience in selecting an appropriate police dog for a department and handler, basic training for the handler and police dog, continual training and evaluation of the police dogs on and off duty, completing in-house K-9 certifications, Michigan state K-9 certifications, and national K-9 certifications.

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MI LEP Region 3

Dennis Robinson

Regional K-9 Trainer

K-9 Trainer Dennis Robinson

Dennis Robinson

Dennis has over 23 years of law enforcement experience. He has 14 years a Chief Deputy overseeing road patrol. He has over 13 years as a K-9 handler. Dennis also conducts in service training for officers in the area of patrol tactics and procedures, building search and tactical operations, proper procedures for K-9 deployment and area containment, and police K-9 handling.

Dennis is an award winning K-9 handler. He currently operates the K-9 program for Lake County, Michigan. He helps assist with initial K-9 training for surrounding law enforcement agencies. He has also been asked to assist law enforcement agencies around the state and out of state department with the training of their police K-9’s.

MI LEP Region 5

Chris Mersman

Regional K-9 Trainer

K-9 Trainer Chris Mersman

Chris Mersman

Chris is started with the South Haven Michigan Police Department 1998. He became a K9 officer with the South Haven Police Department in 2001. Since that time Chris has been a member of the United State Police Canine Association. He has also been a member of NAPWDA. Chris stays current with the most cutting edge K-9 training and has attended over 50 K-9 training courses since becoming a K-9 handler. He is working his second K-9 that is cross-trained in patrol and narcotics detection. He also participates in K-9 trails and recently obtained the highest score at Region 19 Detector/ Tracking trials in both narcotics detection and tracking.

MI LEP Region 7

Randy Adams

Regional K-9 Trainer

K-9 Trainer Randy Adams

Randy Adams

Randy has been a police officer with the Wyoming Police Department in Michigan since 1989. He has been a K-9 handler since 1992. Since that time he has handled and trained narcotics detection, explosive detection, and patrol dogs. He is a master trainer and has helped many departments with their K-9 units. He has been an instructor at the MMRMA Police Canine Seminar and has been the National Vice President of the Central District for the united State Police Canine Association since 2009.

Randy is a Nationally Certified Level III Trainer with the USPCA, a Nationally Certified Patrol Dog Judge USPCA, a Nationally Certified Detector Dog Trainer with USPCA, and a Master Trainer, National Association of Professional Canine Handlers.

Randy has an Associates Degree in law enforcement, a Bachelor’s in criminal justice, and a Master’s in criminal justice administration. He has also attended numerous canine training school and seminars since becoming a K-9 handler.

MI LEP Region 8

Dave Crown

Regional K-9 Trainer

K-9 Trainer David Crown

David Crown

Dave is a recently retired 25 yr. veteran for the Warren Police Department.  During his 25 years with the department he served as an evidence technician, a defensive tactics instructor, felony stop instructor, and K-9 officer.  He was also a member of the special operations unit with the position of a hostage negotiator. At the time of his retirement he was one of the highest decorated officers in the City of Warren, possessing a medal of honor, departmental citation, 15 certificates of merit, 4 unit commendations, and was named Police Officer of the Year.

In 2001, Dave and K-9 Justice began working the streets of Warren.  Justice started his career the best way possible with a successful track of a B & E suspect on his first call, on his first night of duty.  Justice went on to recover more than 1,500 pounds of narcotics.  Taking over 2 million dollars of narcotics off the streets.  In 2007, Dave trained K-9 Dude and put him into service.  Dud
e continued on the same path as Justice.  Between K-9 Justice and K-9 Dude from 2001 until 2011 they received over 70 citations for outstanding work in narcotics and tracking from the United States Police Canine Association.

Click here for more information on Dave Crown.

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